Tugade, Lopez spar over TNVs at Davao biz meet

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Transportation Sec. Arturo Tugade makes a point while Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez listens at the Davao Investment Conference. (image from News5 video)

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The issue of what government should do about Transport Network Vehicle Services, such as Uber and Grab, had Cabinet secretaries debating the matter in front of leading businessmen in Davao City Friday.

Many commuters see the government crackdown on TNVS as a bid to shut these down but the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board has said it is only going after “colorum” vehicles, or those operating without certificates of pubic convenience or provisional authority.

“If people and institutions were to do business in this country they must follow the rules,” Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade told the Davao Investment Conference, adding that they must also be “prepared to pay the needed and necessary taxes…”

But appearing on the same stage, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said government should go easy in crafting regulations that could give the country a negative image and spoil its chances of landing in the Top 20 of the World Bank’s “ease of doing business” list by 2020.

He also explained that TNVS are “prospering … because consumers prefer them” as they “are augmenting what is not being provided by the present transport system,” such as security.

Tugade stressed that “the Duterte administration welcomes all well-meaning businessmen” but maintained that they need to comply with the country’s laws.

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